My sweetest motherhood thoughts tend to happen at night. When all those tiny humans are fast asleep, the house quiet, and the work is done – then it’s easy for me to remember all I love about motherhood.
In the quiet of the night, my heart is always softer, and I often am nostalgic for their toddler years and tiny milestones.
In the morning, though – well, that’s a little harder.
When they come running in with loud “Good morning, Mommy!” before my brain is even functioning. When they all need similar things at once, and I only have two hands to help them. When each small voice gets noisier, as they fight to be heard above the other. When the day full of responsibility and to-do’s comes rushing in with a force I’m never quite prepared for anymore.
The afternoon comes, and their energy is still strong, but mine is fading fast. Parenting can feel more like drudgery and then the rewards just don’t seem worth it. Then all the sweet nothings I feel at night seem irrelevant, as I try to cook a meal surrounded by these little ones I helped bring into life.
Then my thoughts aren’t quite as sweet, and it’s often simply an act of will to love. Then my smiles are on my face, but not always in my heart, and my words are gentle out of habit more than anything else.
Love is more than feelings, and more than what a photo captures.
Did you love today?
Did you make them a meal? Change a diaper? Tie the shoes? Sweep the floors even though the crumbs will be back before you’re even done? Pack a lunch, run them to a bus stop with smiles and kisses before you hurried off to work? Did you reach your hand to help them down the stairs? Did you make that phone call to advocate for care? Did you pour over bills and give up more of your own so that they could have what they need? Did you humble yourself and ask for help? Did you take the time to show them how to work, how to help, how to be kind? Did you hide in the bathroom and cry to yourself, and then smile when you opened the door? Did you work long hours, pick up your babies, and then try to mother for those bedtime hours through your own exhaustion?
You loved today!
My goal is love cheerfully, and that doesn’t always happen. But I can promise them my love.
Sometimes I will love quietly as I watch them sleep. Sometimes I will love in the midst of the morning chaos, or the afternoon weariness. Sometimes I will love them with my hands, doing all the mundane little tasks that often go unnoticed. Sometimes I will love them with thrilling surprises and exciting trips.
Love is more than feelings, love is a gift of the heart.
Motherhood is my gift of love.